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Image from Mask:Mirror:Membrane

Mask:Mirror:Membrane – an exhibition of images by Deborah Padfield

Mask:Mirror:Membrane was the result of a collaboration with pain specialist Professor Joanna Zakrzewska and facial pain patients and clinicians at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  The exhibition evolved from a two-year residency by artist Deborah Padfield investigating facial pain and the role photographs can play in its communication.  It involved co-creating photographic images with patients that reflected their personal experience of pain, one of which was that of TNA UK member, Ann Eastman:

Internal self-portrait 

Ann says of her image ... 

This painting is introspective, and as such is atypical of my work.  My creative springboard is mainly inspired by a vast visual memory bank of images, much of it retained from travels in 35 countries, and although my paintings are figurative, and appear to depict specific places, they cannot actually be found.  They recreate an evocation of a place, a scene, and above all, an atmosphere.  

This self-portrait is internal, rather than external.  It expresses a mood, state of being, for the viewer to contemplate, without ever journeying there. 

Trigeminal neuralgia is not visible, so a conventional self-portrait would convey nothing.  This is my persona, expressed as an allegorical mirror image; bright and buoyant, confident and strong in the sunshine.  But on the opposite side of the road, sinister branches haunt the frail, dark and gloomy recesses of the subconscious mind. 

Despite currently being in remission, I know that trigeminal neuralgia – often called the world’s worst pain – always returns, so the road ahead is overshadowed by apprehension, and fear. 

Ann Eastman June 2011


Page last updated on 07 Apr 2015